Actors: Nicky Henson, Beryl Reid, George Sanders
Synopsis: Zombie bikers run amok is southern England!
“Psychomania” is the tale of zombie bikers run amok is southern England. The Living Dead is the name of a delinquent biker gang that loves to cause havoc on British roadways and making out in graveyards. Gang leader Tom (Nicky Henson) also has a Satanist for a mother, and when he discovers the secret of immortality, the name of his motley crew takes on a more literal meaning. Don Sharp directed this very offbeat movie and it stars Beryl Reid and George Sanders.
Tom Latham discovers some dark secrets, as well as how to die, and then how to return as one of the undead. When, he tries this, he sees that it works! Soon the other members of the biker gang are doing the same thing, and they seem to be invincible. “Psychomania” is a fun and strange little movie acting that is better than one might expect from a movie like this. Henson stands out and he is clearly having the time of his life. The dark humor is infectious and there’s the great score by John Cameron that suits the tone of the film perfectly. However, what is missing is any sense of logic. We never understand why Tom’s mother (Beryl Reid) doesn’t show that much concern for Tom and his gang’s antics until the film is almost over. We also wonder why the police allow these guys to terrorize England.
“Psychomania” is filled with campy fun that serves as good nighttime entertainment and besides, knowing that this is about zombie bikers, we know not to expect a literary epic. The screenplay written by Julian Halevy and Arnaud d’Usseau aims for escapist low-level entertainment and does not make any social conscience points.
Arrogant rich boy Tom is bored and thinks he can get some kicks by committing suicide and returning to life. Tom’s devil worshiping, estate living, mod, widowed mother (his dad committed suicide 18 years ago, but never returned because he was evidently not a true believer) and her sinister cult leader butler Shadwell (George Sanders) help Tom make a pact with the devil through their frog-worshiping cult. Tom willingly goes over a bridge on his motorcycle in the belief that he’ll return from the dead as an immortal biker, that is, if he truly believes he’ll return from the dead. After burial Tom returns as an invulnerable serial killer monster.
As a result of Tom’s reincarnation, the rest of the gang also drinks the Kool-Aid and commit suicide and return from the dead as the now zombie Living Dead gang. Only Tom’s girlfriend Abby (Mary Larkin) refuses to follow suit and the gang lives it up riding through town and bugging pedestrians and turning over grocery store shelves and going on a killing spree. The many murders draws the attention of Chief Inspector Hesseltine (Robert Hardy) to investigate. In the end, Tom’s occultist mom gets pissed at Tom for bringing along his crude biker gang into her high-brow cultish thing and dispenses with all of them by breaking the spell that allowed them to be zombies.
* 2K restoration from preservation negatives
* High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
* Original 1.0 mono audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
* Brand-new interview with star Nicky Henson
* Return of the Living Dead, an archive featurette containing interviews actors Henson, Mary Larkin, Denis Gilmore, Roy Holder and Rocky Taylor
* Sound of Psychomania, an archive interview with composer John Cameron
* Riding Free, an archive interview with ‘Riding Free’ singer Harvey Andrews
* Hell for Leather, a brand-new featurette on the company who supplied the film’s costumes
* Remastering Psychomania, a look at the film’s restoration from the original 35mm black and white separation masters
* Theatrical trailer